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Recreation

Hang Ten or Just Hang Out


Galveston Island is known for its great restaurants, historical charm and first-rate attractions, but it’s also a popular place to take it easy. Possibly it’s the Island mentality, but most Islanders are more casual and relaxed than people from some other places. And it doesn’t take long to adopt this easy-going attitude.

While there is a lot to do in Galveston, it’s also a place where it feels comfortable to do little. At 10.4 miles long, the seawall lining the Gulf of Mexico is the world’s longest continuous sidewalk and attracts walkers, joggers, bicyclists, surfers, sunbathers, skaters and sightseers year-round. It’s a great place to exercise or just sit to watch a flock of brown pelicans skim across the waves at sunrise.

Enjoy lots of amenities at the Island’s many spas where you can relax with a massage, facial or “manis and pedis.”

Galveston provides the perfect recipe for water sports. Take generous amounts of water, add semitropical temperatures and gently stir with a sea breeze. Sailors can feel the salt spray from either the Gulf of Mexico or Galveston Bay in just minutes after setting sail. Offatts Bayou is a popular gathering spot for weekend sailors who want to weigh anchor and relax. Its protected waters are smooth sailing for one-person or two-person sailboats. When the conditions are right, the bayou’s glassy waters are good for skiing, too.

Surfers, wind surfers and kayakers test their skills against Mother Nature throughout the year on Gulf and Bay waters.

Oh, did we mention the fishing? The Galveston Bay area hosts more sports fishermen than any other spot on the Texas Coast, for a good reason. More than 100 species of fish are caught here regularly, including speckled trout, redfish, flounder, golden croaker, drum and Spanish mackerel. Anglers can cast their lines wade fishing, and from rock piers and boats in either the bay or the Gulf. Seawolf Park, located on Pelican Island, is an especially busy fishing spot when the flounder are running from the Bay to the Gulf as the weather begins to cool in the fall. The Galveston Island Yacht Basin and a number of area marinas are hot spots of maritime activity.

If offshore fishing is your sport, try to land kingfish or red snapper from the Gulf’s green waters. Hire one of the many charter-fishing services for your own private fishing trip, or buy a day pass on a party boat with other anglers.

For birding, Galveston Island is one of the top locations in the U.S. Water and shore birds are common throughout the year and migrating birds during the spring and fall migrations.

Birding Locations
  • East Beach Complex at the Big Reef Nature Park on Boddeker Drive on the far east end
  • Kempner Park at 28th and Avenue O
  • Shrimp Fleet Birth at Pier 19
  • Offatts Bayou off 61st Street
  • Corps of Engineer Woods off Ferry Road, right on Highway 168
  • Pond at west end of Seawall on the north side of Seawall
  • 7 Mile and 8 Mile roads off FM 3005 in the ponds and bay
  • Lafitte’s Cove Nature Preserve off Stewart Road
  • San Luis Pass

On dry land, outdoor sports enthusiasts can play tennis at one of 20 public courts; golf at the municipal course, Moody Gardens Golf Course or the private Galveston Country Club; play baseball or softball at one of 16 ball fields; and picnic at one of 17 public parks. Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, soccer and Little League offer Galveston youth a variety of outdoor activities.

With all of these inviting outdoor activities, there’s no excuse to be a couch potato.

Annual Events

To obtain exact dates for the following events, please visit the Chamber’s website at www.GalvestonChamber. com and click on Community Calendar.

August 2012
  • Galveston Chamber Annual Golf Tournament
  • Movie Night on The Strand
  • Music Night on The Strand
  • Galveston Artwalk
  • Summer Band Concerts (Tuesdays at 7 p.m.)
  • Ride Days – Lone Star Flight Museum
September 2012
  • Labor Day festivities
  • Movie Night on The Strand
  • Music Night on The Strand
  • Fall birding migration
  • Galveston Island Shrimp Festival
  • Antique Weekend
October 2012
  • Movie Night on The Strand
  • Music Night on The Strand
  • Oktoberfest
  • ARToberfest
  • Texas Coast Boat & Outdoor Show
  • Downtown Walkabout
  • Greek Festival
  • Historic Downtown Galveston Lofts Tour
  • Lone Star Bike Rally
November 2012
  • Lone Star Bike Rally
  • Veteran’s Day Salute
  • Epicurean Evening
  • Home for the Holiday’s Gift Market
December 2012
  • Dickens on The Strand
  • Moody Gardens Festival of Lights
  • Moody Gardens “The Magic of Christmas” Dinner and Show starring Master Illusionist Curt Miller and Friends
January 2013
  • Battle of Galveston Anniversary Celebration
  • Yaga’s Chili Quest & Beer Fest
February 2013
  • Mardi Gras! Galveston
  • Galveston Artwalk
  • Sacred Places Tour
March 2013
  • Galveston Chamber Annual Meeting
  • Galveston Artwalk
  • Spring Birding Migration
  • Annual Home & Garden Show
  • St. Patrick’s Day Annual Festival
April 2013
  • Featherfest
  • The Grand KIDS Festival
  • Movie Night on The Strand
  • Music Night on The Strand
  • Galveston Artwalk
  • Ironman Triathlon
  • Galveston Island Food & Wine Festival
May 2013
  • Celebrating Women: Mind, Body, Spirit Conference
  • Cinco De Mayo
  • Historic Homes Tour
  • Yaga’s Wildgame & BBQ Cookoff
  • Movie Night on The Strand
  • Music Night on The Strand
  • Oleander Festival
  • Galveston Island Beach Revue
  • Memorial weekend
June 2013
  • AIA Sandcastle Competition
  • Backyard Garden Tour
  • Movie Night on The Strand
  • Music Night on The Strand
  • Galveston Artwalk
  • Summer Band Concerts (Tuesdays at 7 p.m.)
  • Juneteenth Celebration
  • Great Texas Catamaran Race
July 2013
  • 4th of July Fireworks Display
  • 4th of July Parade
  • Movie Night on The Strand
  • Music Night on The Strand
  • Summer Band Concerts (Tuesdays at 7 p.m.)

2013-14 Galveston Island Guide

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